The panellists have debated on the burning issues: the energy crisis and the defense policy due to Putin’s war against Ukraine
The European Green Party (EGP) has celebrated its 35th Council in Riga, Latvia, from the 3rd to the 5th of June, their first physical meeting since 2019. The group discussed the current security, climate and social crises on the continent.
Europe to become the first climate neutral continent
Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said: “Crisis are used as an excuse to put the European Green Deal aside. But it is our ticket to freedom, to cut our dependence on dictatorships”.
The attendees asserted the need for an intensified and accelerated Green transition that must be socially just. While energy companies are making huge profits, with skyrocketing prices right now, 36 million Europeans face energy poverty.
“We need to find ways to tax these fossil fuel companies and redistribute that money back to people”
Michael Bloss. Member of Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament
The party considered some short-term solutions: creating a social climate fund and buying-cartels; improving home insulation and public transport.
As an example, Germany announced price cuts (9€/month) in public transport for the next trimester. Anna Lührmann, Minister of State for Europe and Climate, Foreign Ministry of Germany introduced the goal: “Europe needs to become the first climate neutral continent”.
How to combat the war shaking European foundations?
Thomas Waitz, co-chair of the EGP, opened the session on Security declaring: “Our current situation demands tough decisions. Greens all over Europe act based on the same value: rule of law, democracy, human rights”.
The continent is facing a war shaking the foundations that granted European cohesion and security for the past decades. Hanna Neumann, Member of the European Parliament Greens/EFA Group and member of the Subcommittee on Security and Defense, claimed: “After World War 2, laws were put in place on how states deal with each other. These laws only work if those who trample them are sanctioned”.
The Greens advocated for the European response to Russia’s aggression: peace through strength. They also debated on the importance of considering how much countries spend in military and how that money is spent.
European support is vital for Ukranian people in their fight against the aggressor. Marie Kurnina, International advocacy manager in ZMINA Human Rights Center, stated:
“Ukrainians are fighting for their freedom, for their right to exist as a sovereign country, and for their right to choose their future”
Likewise, Dritan Abazovic, the first green Prime Minister of Montenegro, delivered a moving speech: “Nothing is impossible; we are game changers”. He encouraged the audience to fight for Ukraine and for the European values of Human Rights and Freedom.
Green future relies on cooperation and strong allies
The Greens gathering in Latvia finished with the voting of the next party Committee. Benedetta de Marte was the newly-elected Secretary General of the EGP.
De Marte closed the #EGP35 with a speech that was crucial to understand her purposes for the future:
“Our mission in Europe is to fight against the climate crisis, for feminism, transforming the economy and protecting the law […] we have big challenges ahead, we need to listen to them, stay united and take advantage of the great successes our greens in government are achieving”
The resolutions adopted in the 35th Council emphasize the need of a new European paradigm: stronger, fairer, safer and greener.